Spotlight on Linda M.
Once a fortnight I publish a tip from a fellow family history enthusiast. Today we shine the spotlight on Linda M., and share something she’s learned from years of researching.
Every ancestor’s story is unique, and so is our genealogy journey.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from both our ancestors and our fellow family history enthusiasts.
One of the things you can learn about is social history which helps you understand how your ancestors lived. Whether it’s from a genealogy documentary, a newspaper article or a post in a Facebook Group. When you know what was happening around our ancestors, it helps to fill in the gaps and show us how they lived.
Spotlight on Linda
Linda from Texas has been ancestor hunting for three years now. Her genealogy journey started after her parents passed away. This loss was her starting point to find out more about her family. To discover more about her ancestors from England, Ireland and France. About their lives before and after their move to America.
One of her future projects is to start a family history blog/website. She wants a platform that will make it easy to share every discovery and story with family far and wide.
Spotlight on Linda’s tip
Now let’s shine the spotlight on Linda and find out her tip.
I think that I am consistently realizing some “big picture” patterns as I go: like the backbone of our society is the family. Then, too, I find myself feeling the actual lives and personalities close enough to touch.
Who else has feels that way? As you discover facts and stories, it can feel like having a conversation with that ancestor. Their choices recorded in the archives help us see aspects of their personalities. It’s so true; you can learn so much more than just the basic facts. Through analysing documents, you see the choices our ancestors made. By researching social history, you get a vivid picture of why they made them.
Know your ancestors
Unfortunately, you aren’t able to have actual conversations with our ancestors. Most of them didn’t leave us time capsules or detailed diaries telling us about their lives. Am I the only one who is still hoping to find something like that?
You still have many options to uncover details that give our ancestors’ personalities. Social history tells us about challenges and how the world was in different eras. Photos, the family bible, recipe books, and letters offer a snapshot of our ancestors’ lives.
Plus, you have newspapers and magazines, which are the closest thing you have to a time machine. They can transport us to the past and allow us to step back in time. Don’t underestimate the wealth of information you can pick up from newspapers. It’s not only funeral notices but also articles, advertisements and social columns.
You aren’t only looking for a mention of your ancestor but to see what was happening in the place they called home. These details can tell you a lot about your ancestor’s life. Find out what food they ate, how much they spent on clothes and what entertainment was available.